Sunday, February 15, 2009

Disney World Here We 21 days!

Grace is getting so excited to visit Nanny and Papa at their home in Florida. In just 21 days we will not only be visiting Nanny and Papa, but also Cinderella, Mickey, Ariel, Minnie, Snow White, etc. To help her understand we made a chain representing the days until we leave...let the countdown begin!

Friday, February 6, 2009

So How Much is a Trillion Really?

As we all know, the government is getting ready to spend one trillion dollars to stimulate the economy. We hear the number thrown around all the time now and it barely raises an eyebrow. This morning I heard an economist on TV say, somewhat frustratedly, that the vast majority of people don't understand and frankly can't comprehend how enormous that number is. I was curious, so I googled it.

Obviously I knew a trillion was a huge number, but I still found myself to be quite interested and even astonished by some of the stats.

A trillion = A thousand billion = A million million

A 1 with 12 zeros (1,000,000,000,000)

Some examples I found used time to explain how big the number is.

  • A million seconds is about 12 days
  • A billion seconds is about 32 years
  • A trillion seconds is about 32,000 years

Some examples use stacks of dollar bills.

  • A thousand $1 bills stacked, not laid end to end, measures 4.3 inches tall
  • A million = 358 feet (35 stories)
  • A billion = 358,500 feet (68 miles - well into the atmosphere)
  • A trillion = 67,866 MILES (1/4 of the way to the moon)

And what about end-to-end? This Site claims it would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out dollar bills behind it end-to-end, 14 years before it reeled out a trillion dollars.

And finally, here are some of the best examples to help explain a trillion in terms of spending.

  • If you spent $1 million every day since the birth of Christ, you still wouldn't have spend $1 trillion (You'd be at roughly $725 billion and have some 734 years to go) - AMAZING!
  • You could pave the entire US interstate highway system in 24 karat gold according to this site.
  • And how would you raise $1 trillion? If every man, woman, and child in the US (300 million) each chipped in, they would each pay $3,400. For those of you following the new octupulet babies, that would be $51,000 from their mother who now has 14 children.
  • If just tax payers chipped in (138 million), they would pay $7,300 each or $14,600 per married couple. Better start saving up! I think the bills go out next year.

Monday, February 2, 2009 - Try it!

We've only been using this site for a couple of weeks, but so far it is one of the easiest and best financial management tools we've used and we love it! It literally takes only a few minutes to set up, and is far less involved than Quicken or Money. Essentially you link your online accounts (bank, credit cards, investments, etc...) and mint brings all your details into one location and automatically assigns your purchases to categories based on the place of purchase.
Once your accounts are linked, you can easily trend your spending, your investments, and set up budgets and goals. You can even compare yourself against national, state, or city averages.

And best of all, it's free! They make their money by suggesting ways for you to save (To lower your mortgage, refinance with...)

Thanks to our friends Corey and Wendy for recommending the site!